Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Laughter is the best medicine

OVER the years I have spent what seems like half a lifetime sitting in doctors’ surgeries and hospital outpatient departments.

During those interminable waits, usually with my nose sunk in a book, I have seen people angry, furious, asleep and in despair, but just recently I saw a hugely welcome funnier side to a scenario that must be so familiar to so many patients.

I was at Dorset County Hospital getting the fantastic news that my third post-cancer op blood test was negative when the whole corridor became aware that patients already packed into seating would have to wait even longer, some of them up to an hour.

There were a few groans but the overwhelming reaction turned to smiles and even laughter after a member of staff relayed an important piece of news.

Apparently one of the patients waiting to be seen had a list of local Premier Inns in case we really were there for a long time!

It was just the right comment to defuse the situation. The queues soon improved and will be forgotten but the comment will live on for a good while.

Trials and tribulations of triathlon tragedy!

'PROFESSIONAL' suggests someone who leaves nothing to chance in the pursuit of success.

But sometimes success – or failure – can depend on the smallest of mistakes as one professional found out in Weymouth.

It was the Challenge Weymouth triathlon, that Mecca for all round sportsmen and women involving a 3.8km swim and a crippling 180km bike ride all rounded off with a gruelling 42.2km run.

With so much heart-thumping effort involved no entrant was going to leave anything to chance including, the one we are focussing on who had made the giant investment of a £10,000 state of the art bike and the slightly smaller but no less important outlay of a top of the range helmet, power drinks and energy bars.

He even had specialist trainers already clipped on to pedals so he could come out of the water and get back on his bike with minimum delay. Nothing had been left to chance.

So it must have been a bit of bad luck that let him down, something stewards spotted but could neither change nor warn him about because of the rules.

We can only guess at what his face must have looked like when he strode from the water and jumped on his bike... only to find that his right trainer was clipped to the left pedal and his left trainer was clipped to the right pedal!

A mis-spent youth?

BATTEN down the hatches and check your ear muffs because November 5th is less than six days away.

Gunpowder, treason and plot is just boring stuff that many little hooligans couldn’t give a Fawkes about.

Oh no. They’re much more interested in the explosive side of things: how to blow up next door’s greenhouse rather than the Houses of Parliament even if the latter idea has more merit.

And what budding anarchist could resist an experiment using a rocket to fire Dad’s socks off the washing line into the sky? Well they might dry faster, Mum!

Excitement is just the scratch of a match away and it’s all made more daring because of that shiver created by the whiff of lawlessness.

My moment came nearly half a century ago when a friend invited me round to a firework party in his Dad’s orchard.

He was already a budding chemist and knew that weedkiller and sugar was the key, so he suggested using some to see if we could blow up a metal pipe hidden artfully away at the base of an apple tree.

The satisfying results went beyond our wildest dreams with the pipe blasted to smithereens in a thunderclap explosion and a howl of shrapnel.

We felt sure it hadn’t been that loud and thought we could pass it off as a bang from someone else’s party.

Just one flaw in our plan. A few minutes after our bomb went off the apple tree crashed to the ground. We weren’t allowed anywhere near so much as a sparkler for the rest of the night!

Road users’ remedy

A NEW advanced course for retarded drivers has been launched at Weymouth Railway Station.

The course offers those drivers already proficient in lunatic manoeuvres a chance to fine tune their talents, which regularly are witnessed at the King Street site.

Drivers will be taught how to pull out in front of fellow motorists without warning or even a signal, how to park in the most anti-social way possible, taking two spaces while parking at an angle.

Other tuition includes a sub-section for pedestrians on how to walk straight across to the middle of the car park and can stand aimlessly, blocking all drivers trying to leave.

Organisers are hoping that the PLOD course – Pathetic Losers On Display – will be of interest to the police for a few endorsements.

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